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Ramsayings

A Blog About Nothing in Particular

What’s the Future of Blogging?

Two inter­est­ing things about blog­ging late­ly:

First from Mar­co Arment

Then from Robert Scoble on why he’s using G+ and Face­book for blog­ging.

I tend to agree with the for­mer, but I’d much rather do what Scoble is doing. Why? Because it’s much lighter weight than com­ing here to write AND it doesn’t have the audi­ence built-in that oth­er social net­works do. I see that Share but­ton when I’m in Gmail and think, “That would be so easy!”

What’s keep­ing me from mak­ing the switch? Audi­ence. Sure, I have nev­er been good about writ­ing every day, but Word­Press makes it easy for peo­ple to find stuff I’ve writ­ten about since I start­ed blog­ging. Google+ is get­ting bet­ter at help­ing peo­ple find me in the con­text of oth­er search results, but it’s not quite the same.

But why not LinkedIn? Tum­blr? Medi­um? They’re all inter­est­ing places. I often think I should use LinkedIn as my default social net­work and share out to Twit­ter from it!

Put anoth­er way: why shouldn’t I switch to G+ or Medi­um, you know, beyond own­ing my plat­form?

To me, the long tail ben­e­fits are worth­while. Word­Press is eas­i­ly book­marked and shared. Google+ is a neat lit­tle ecosys­tem, but that’s just it: it wants to be self-con­tained in a dif­fer­ent way that most oth­er net­works.

The Principled Purge

If you haven’t already seen it, Ian Rogers’ blog post on prun­ing Twit­ter is quite good. He fol­lowed me back when I wrote about dig­i­tal music; I don’t write about that any­more, ergo he unfol­lowed me. It makes all the sense in the world. Why is it so hard?

I wrote Unfol­low­ing Is Hard back in 2012. I pared back to 500 peo­ple. It felt like an accom­plish­ment. Could I ever get under 200 like Ian? Doubt­ful. Even if I fol­lowed his lead and turned Twit­ter into real-time RSS, I’d find myself in the same fix. I pulled over 800 blogs into RSS at my peak! I’m a suck­er for infor­ma­tion. I just can’t help it.

Worse, I’m sen­ti­men­tal. There are peo­ple I’ve been fol­low­ing since I joined. We’ve had lots of laughs. They’ve watched my son grow up. How could I leave them now if they’ve not grad­u­at­ed to Face­book friend sta­tus?

That’s what I like most about Ian’s post: clear­ly delin­eat­ed friend pro­files that iden­ti­fy where they should go. His birth­day rule is the best. He trans­formed Face­book into Path. He just unfriend­ed his way to it!

I call it the prin­ci­pled purge. This isn’t just rip it up and start again; these are mal­leable plat­forms and we should evolve as our use cas­es change. And if you get scared you can always cheat with a handy list!

Why I’m Switching to Android

I wrote about renew­ing my iPhone vows about a month ago. I’m chang­ing my mind. Why? A com­bi­na­tion of curios­i­ty and con­ve­nience.

I’m not going to dis­count the num­ber of posts from influ­encers like Matthew Ingram, Guy Kawasa­ki and Robert Scoble, but the tip­ping point was real­ly friends who’ve adopt­ed Android with their lat­est phones. Whether they were entrenched Apple users or smart­phone new­bies, their move to Android was inspir­ing. It made it seem less intim­i­dat­ing to ditch the famil­iar for some­thing a lit­tle more chal­leng­ing. I mean, I haven’t thought seri­ous­ly about a smart­phone pur­chase since I first bought a smart­phone near­ly five years ago. I wasn’t going to make this deci­sion with­out help.

Why now? It’s eas­i­er. Android apps have grown up. Most of my most used apps are avail­able and those that aren’t can be replaced with com­pa­ra­ble apps. More impor­tant­ly, I’ve come to real­ize that my depen­dence on basics like Gmail and cal­en­dar are bet­ter solved with a native plat­form. I’m also unrea­son­ably excit­ed to try some of the UI tweaks, like Ubun­tu-style app launch­ers and the like. Being able to rein­vent the expe­ri­ence is some­thing that will keep me inter­est­ed as well.

Saying Goodbye to My CD Collection

I start­ed pack­ing up my remain­ing CDs last night. I’ve final­ly real­ized that no mat­ter how often I tell myself that I’ll rip them to a dri­ve, or that I’ll fall in love with the medi­um all over again, they will only col­lect dust in a dark cor­ner of my house. Don’t believe me? Look how many times I’ve lied to myself about it!

I’m rid­ding myself of a col­lec­tion I’ve built over 20 years. With a lit­tle effort, I could turn the entire thing into a Spo­ti­fy playlist in about an hour. It’s hard not to feel defeat­ed. How often did I spend mon­ey bet­ter spent on food or clothes on music that I bare­ly heard? I’m still find­ing unopened CDs with receipts that are a decade old. Now I’ll sell them for pen­nies on the dol­lar and be glad.

I’m doing my best to not be sen­ti­men­tal about it, but it’s brought back mem­o­ries of trips to record stores around the world. My R.E.M. CDs have been with me since I lugged them to Den­mark as a 17 year old! I can still remem­ber how much I cher­ished the 40-odd albums I took on exchange. I remem­ber when my col­lec­tion bal­looned to 120 care­ful­ly curat­ed discs in grad school. I spent time man­i­cur­ing it, trad­ing in to trade up, bud­get­ing as best I could to have a col­lec­tion my peers would respect. It grew to near­ly 1500 discs when I moth­balled it in the walk-in clos­et. Now as I pack it up and pre­pare myself to sell it all, I shake my head with every obscure disc I find encased in shrink wrap.

If you or some­one you know would like to own a music col­lec­tion that imme­di­ate­ly makes it seem like you came of age in the ‘90s, you might want to stop by AKA Music in the next cou­ple weeks. It’s only fit­ting that I take them back to the place where I spent so much time and mon­ey on the music I’ve loved most.

Why I Switched to Poster

You may have noticed some changes here recent­ly. Here’s a hint: fresh con­tent! Want to know my secret? The Poster app! Now I know we’ve all heard that the iPad is not a con­tent-cre­ation device, but I’m find­ing it pret­ty easy myself. In fact, I haven’t reopened my Mac­Book once, not even to change my blog theme!

Why do I like it so much? It doesn’t try to do any­thing more than allow you to draft, sched­ule and pub­lish con­tent. I don’t need a read­er baked into the app, or to see stats on my per­son­al blog. I just want to dive in and bang out 250–500 words about some­thing I liked enough to write about. Like Poster! If you want to start using your iPad for blog­ging, you should check it out.